Windows play an important role in optical systems, whether in terms of maximizing transmission and reducing reflections, or in protecting optical systems and electronic sensors from all the effects of the environment on them.
When the environmental conditions are too harsh, optical windows need to improve their games, which means choosing a material that provides special robustness. Here is where sapphire optical windows come in.
What is a Sapphire Optical Window?
Sapphire is a synthetically grown super hard material that is very durable and scratch resistant. In terms of its strength, it is second only to diamonds. Sapphire windows can withstand more than quartz and traditional glass can withstand, a fraction of the thickness. Sapphire crystals are grow in an extremely hot oven. Large, cylindrical bouquets are cut into sapphire rods, which are then sliced, ground and polished.
Benefits of Sapphire Windows
Sapphire (Al203) is a very durable crystalline material, second only to diamond in the hardest natural material rating. Optical components made of sapphire are known to be superior to fused silica and quartz in a comparable transmission range.
Here’s why sapphire optical windows are hugely preferred:
- High mechanical strength
- Extreme surface hardness
- Exceptional resistance to abrasion
- Extremely wide optical transmission band
- Withstand temperatures up to 2030 degrees Celsius
- Chemically unreactive and resistant
- High thermal conductivity
Uses of Sapphire Windows
Sapphire windows are used for the unique characteristics of sapphire, which are: high strength, high scratch resistance, wide light transmission belt, extremely high melting temperature, high thermal conductivity, high electrical resistance and chemical inertness-are necessary.
Sapphire has many commercial uses. The most common of these is the sapphire display window used to protect the optics of a mobile phone. The new iPhones use sapphire windows because their fracture toughness is about four times that of Gorilla Glass, which only strengthens traditional glass. Before the smartphone revolution, most consumers’ sapphire experience came from the displays used in most high-end watches.
No industry needs reliable and durable materials more than the military, so it’s no wonder that sapphire windows are in great demand. Sapphire retains its properties under high pressure, high temperature, acidity, high impact and almost all situations you can imagine. This makes sapphire an ideal choice for protecting important optics, lasers, etc. Military and commercial air, ground and water vehicles use sapphire to protect vision systems, sensors, cameras and lasers. The submarine also uses sapphire for its resistance to high pressure and salt water abrasion.
Sapphire windows are widely used in medicine. One of the most common medical applications is the endoscopy market. The endoscopic instrument contains a small camera and is introduced into the patient’s body for the doctor to perform surgery, diagnosis and observation. Sapphire windows are used to protect the interior Mirror instruments because they are scratch resistant, easy to clean and disinfect, and chemically inert. More importantly, they can be used for many years without having to be replaced.
These are the benefits and major uses of sapphire optical windows. If you are looking to buy high quality sapphire windows, you can always connect with us.